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The Uruguayan Professional Footballers Association (MUFP) is very concerned about the debts clubs still owe to their players. The claims made by players have  exceeded $2.5 million (USD) and the number is still growing.

“This has been the greatest number of complaints we have received in the past eight years, a situation that worries us every day. The amount of debts will continue to grow each day, while the start of the new season is getting closer (August 16). Of the claimed $2.5 million dollars, the Arbitral Tribunal already decided about one million dollars in favour of the players. For the remaining 1.5 million, there still has to be a decision made ”, Secretary-General of MUFP, Fabian Pumar said.

MUFP President, Enrique Saravia (on the picture above) added, “These are not just numbers, we are talking about players´ lives and their families. We are worried about the individual situation of the players, many are juggling to make ends meet.”

“We’d like to have settled all debts before the start of the season, but we are strongly depending on the cooperation of clubs in the actual payment.”

If clubs do not meet their obligations prior to the start of the new season, they are not allowed to participate in the competition. MUFP will stand firm on this. The players’ rights have to be respected before the start of the season.

Pumar said he is not optimistic about the progress and thinks a happy ending will be very difficult to achieve, “We have to deal with the cause, not only the consequences. A structural change in the system is necessary.”

Explaining the statutes, regulating Players' complaints for their unpaid salaries

  • Clubs may not start in any official competition, if they have outstanding  debts to players recognized by a decision of the Arbitral Tribunal (composed by equal number of members of the union and the Federation, plus a president elected by both parties in common agreement) , or if there are overdue payments of the instalments of a settlement  agreement.
  • If a club ceases to participate in an official competition for the reasons stated in the preceding paragraph, the Uruguayan Federation (AUF) will apply all income that would have corresponded to the club in the recent competition in which the club participated, to allocate it to the cancellation of existing debt with footballers.
  • The club will not be able to compete in any official competition organized by the Uruguayan Federation AUF  (amateur or professional) until all player-related debts, including the legal payments to social security, have been settled. In case of non-compliance by AUF in prohibiting the clubs to participate in their tournaments and allocating the income that corresponded to the club to the payment of the debts to the players, AUF will be severally liable for payment of the due amounts. 
  • The players of the clubs that stay out of the competition for this reason will be automatically released from their contracts and free to register for another club worldwide. In this case they will cease to receive the rest value of the contract. If they do not register for another club, they are entitled to receive their salaries until the end of the contract.
  • Clubs cannot sign new players while debts (recognized by the Arbitral Tribunal) remain outstanding.